Prior to the LCO finals at DreamHack this Saturday, our Split 1 All-Stars will grace the stage of Margaret Court Arena in an exciting show-match against TSM Challengers.
After our little break from live League of Legends, the match will serve as a cheeky appetiser for the day ahead while also fuelling the friendly rivalry between Oceania and our friends over in NA.
It’s there that the age-old legend will be raised: “NA or OCE?”
So, which of these teams will take it?
Well, it’s not quite a prediction piece like the others.
The five-man LCO All-Stars roster and their sub were pieced together from a tally of 1100 votes across the region, ranking the crowd-favourites in each role across the first split.
Our star-studded home team has pieces cherry-picked from the Dire Wolves, Pentanet, and Ground Zero.
- Top: Ryan “Chippys” Short
- Jungle: Shern “Shernfire” Tai
- Mid: Jesse “Chazz” Mahoney
- ADC: Alvin “Danteh” Wong
- Support: Daniel “Decoy” Ealam
- Sub: Drekani “Bulldawg” Akuhata
Among the somewhat seasoned roster is a player relatively new to the pro scene: Danteh.
The best-of-three series will posture him against the role models of his youth, holding some personal weight for the younger player.
“When I was still climbing the ladder, I remember watching TSM: Legends [with] Hauntzer and Svenskeren so it’s pretty surreal to be able to have the opportunity to play against them,” Danteh admitted to Snowball Esports.
“Back then, I viewed pro players as super insane and such a hard thing to achieve. Now that I’m a pro player myself, I’m closer to [their level]–it’s not as enticing.”
“It’s still very exciting to verse people that I watched while I was growing up. It’ll show how far I’ve come from when I was in gold elo watching their TSM videos three or four years ago.”
- Read more: Your LCO 2023 Split 1 coverage hub
“I’m not sure if it’s a competitive 5v5 or if it’s for fun, like if they’re gonna lock in Teemo and autofill…stuff like that so I’m not sure how it’ll fare,” he admitted his thoughts on the series.
“I don’t think it’s a major skill gap. I think it’ll come down to who plays better. They’ve been scrimming so it’ll really be whether or not I and the other All-Star players can mesh as a team and play well.”
Aside from the show match, the Kiwi is also keen to put faces to names, attending his first live event since the pandemic.
“I’ve never been to DreamHack so it’ll definitely be fun meeting a lot of familiar Oceanic pros and faces and personalities. I’m really excited.”
“I’ve been playing with these guys online for so long so I’ll finally be able to meet them and see they’re not just figures on my screen–they’re real people.”
From across the pond, TSM Challengers are coming in fresh from their NACL Spring split.
- Top: Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell
- Jungle: Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen
- Mid: William “Doxa” Lee
- ADC: Toàn “Neo” Trần
- Support: Dragon “Dragku” Guo
Former Chiefs player Dragku returns to the region with some new friends behind him.
Despite the competitive spirit that will emerge on the gameday, he’s “super keen to come back to OCE”.
“I miss my family and friends so much, and I’m really excited to see everyone at DreamHack,” he told Snowball Esports. “Particularly my ‘Day Ones’ like The Chiefs management and Carboss.”
Aside from sharing his nostalgia for home, he still had some fighting words for the LCO All-Star team:
“I think this match is meant to be for fun but if not, I think we would roflstomp.”Dragon “Dragku” Guo, TSM Challengers
During the rest of the weekend, there’ll be no need for the NA boys to board a double-decker tourist bus–Dragku’s got plans of his own to introduce them to the joys of his homeland.
“Me and a few mates are gonna take [my team] to Glenny Kebabs and show them what an HSP is. Besides that, I definitely want to take Sven and Hauntzer to Doherty’s Gym.”
At the end of the day, the stakes of the show match only celebrate the talent the individual regions possess. With a live audience in the stands roaring toward the two teams, it’s bound to be a great experience regardless of the outcome.
Following Danteh’s last LAN during his time in the New Zealand High School League, he is excited to chase that feeling once more at DreamHack. “It’ll definitely be very exciting to play on a stage again and have the feeling of a crowd. The crowd always makes the experience ten times better.”
DreamHack Melbourne 2023 is finally here.
With the LCO Split 1 2023 Finals taking place after the show match, maybe you could use a refresher. Luckily, our ultimate coverage hub can get you up to speed.